Recently when people have asked me questions about my life, my response has been “I don’t know.” For example, yesterday I had my annual review at work. When asked certain questions about my professional future, in my mind, the honest answers were “I don’t know.” When talking with my mom or a friend about dating/relationships, the answers to their questions are “I don’t know.” Now lest you think I am feeling super depressed in life, I am not. I feel happy and at peace, but it’s true, there is a lot I don’t know and don’t understand.
As I was writing in my journal the other evening (journaling helps me process my thoughts), I realized that while I may not have 100 percent clarity in my life, I do have peace. Since this realization, I’ve been reflecting on clarity versus peace.
About two weeks ago, I was standing in the parking lot of a hospital talking to a friend about God and life. I think this friend and I would both agree this past year taught us a lot about ourselves. He shared with me how he believes that God plays a more active role in our lives than we’ll ever be able to comprehend while living here on earth, however, one day when we are reunited with God, we will understand clearly His active role and probably weep out of gratitude.
It occurred to me this morning that never in the scriptures does God necessarily promise us "life clarity" here on this earth. In the Old Testament, God teaches us: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
What we are promised here on earth is peace: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” (John 14:27) “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:23)
When we make clarity the focus of our lives, we sometimes inadvertently drive away the peace that God provides. We drive away the peace because we think we deserve something He hasn’t necessarily promised us right now.
Sometimes life won’t make sense. We won’t understand why God isn’t healing a loved one’s cancer; why unemployment or underemployment is a battle after receiving higher education and years of workforce experience; why someone chooses to be unfaithful to marital commitments; or why prayers for the blessing of marriage or children appear to go unanswered or not answered in the way we hope. While there may be a lot about life we don't understand, I believe God is here and involved in our lives. In those moments we struggle to have clarity, I hope we'll seek for peace and rejoice in this priceless gift.
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